Lyon Mountain Firetower Trail is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ellenburg Depot, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
One of the tougher Firetower hikes with two options to the summit that offers full 360 degree views. Lyon Mountain, at 3830 feet, is the highest point in Clinton County and the highest point north of the Saranac River. It is located in the northeastern part of Adirondack Park, west of Plattsburgh, NY in the Chazy Highlands Wild Forest. There is a new 3.4 mile trail that winds its way to the summit and fire tower. The trail has an overall elevation gain of 1900 feet over the 3.4 miles. The old trail is shorter (2.5 m each way) and steeper. The hike is long but you are rewarded with a 360 degree view from the fire tower. Views all the way to Montreal to the north, the Green Mountains and Vermont to the East and the high peaks to the south.
A few things to keep in mind...
The stretch of road between the main road and the trailhead parking lot is not maintained during winter which means you have to add it to the hike.
Who wrote that the trail was well indicated? Maybe for summer but not for winter, when fresh snow covers the trail and you have to rely on elusive red tags to find your way around. There are not enough tags in my view, especially considering all the trail's twists and turns.
I wore spikes, my choice. I should have worn snowshoes because of all the fresh snow that had fallen the week before.
You will have to make your way through tree branches so protect your eyes with glasses and wear a watertight coat in the winter.
Anyway, I will certainly come back in the summer to enjoy the view!
Took the old trail up as I had been told that it will eliminate 1.5 hours plus there are breaks of sun to help enjoy the hike. It was quite steep, very rocky and corroded in many places. I'd rate the old trail as fairly difficult. You can't beat the view, especially during peak fall season. We descended the old trail and with the fallen leaves and wet conditions, it got slick in many areas. I was just very happy to hike this mountain as I had been visiting this area since I was a baby. If you have children or pets, I recommend the new trail as I heard it is much more moderate of a hike.
Great views from the top but the approach is much too long for no apparent reason.
Well marked trail to a beautiful view
This was a beautiful hike. Leaf season has finally arrived to the North Country, and there is no better time to climb Lyon Mountain then when the fall colors are in bloom. The trail also has been improved and a newer trail now switchbacks across the old steeper, and rockier trail, making this a more friendlier, and gentle climb for children and animals. The new trail is longer at 4 miles and takes about 1.25 hours longer than the old trail to ascend. The tower has amazing views mostly of the SE and NE overlooking Chazy Lake and the High Peaks to the south. I decided to descend the old trail and was pretty amazed at the beautiful views along the trail which the new trail lacks. Its steep and easily descended in ~ 1.5 hours. Overall a great hike, and noteworthy of the Firetower Challenge.
1st time to Lyon, took the old trail on my way up. It was raining and it took me 75 minutes. I wouldn't rate it hard but a good moderate trail. I took the new trail on my way down, took me 90 minutes. The new trail is very good. I just missed the sun to fully enjoy the hike.
Nice hike. The new trail is so much easier than the old rutted up one. Lots of switchbacks make this an enjoyable hike. I would rate this hike as moderate, not difficult.
I took my 15 year old daughter here two years ago. It is a stiff hike going straight up. About 2/3 to 3/4 of the way up she (and I) were awed by the beauty of the path as the rocky trail which cut through pleasant white birch and copper birch trees, gave way to pine trees and heavy moss covered stones which lined the trail on either side. Some of the stones are squared off and massive like a ancient stone wall.
She compared it to some scenes in "Lord of the Rings".
We just came back from it today and along with my daughter (now 17) I brought my 14 year old son. He was just as impressed with its beauty and the incredible view! It was quite windy and cold when we reached the summit. A hoodie would have been nice. A huge cloud bank had engulfed the summit but the strong winds blew it over and through the pines. Our patience was rewarded with incredible views all the way around!
We chose to go straight back down as opposed to the easier but meandering path down. It seems to take forever with that meandering path. My knees were aching by the time I got down to the bottom but nothing a glass of wine couldn't repair!
great hike, nice views from the fire tower
Loved this hike!! I did this with my family of four, my son the youngest is 11.
It was our first hike of the season and it was challenging yet very doable, even for me because I am the least in shape out of my whole crew.
Also in comparison to other mountains, this was probably my favorite summit, there are so many places to go and explore at top and many places to settle down for lunch if it's a busy day.
1st time at Lyon Mountain. Took the old trail, which is considered harder than the new one, but faster. We wanted a challenge and got one. Took us 1hour15minutes to get to the top, but by taking very short breaks and by sweating bullets (we're also 2 mid-20s men) . View is amazing on the summit. Took the new trail(easiest one) to come down and believe it or not, it was longer than the old one (and we were going down, not climbing).
I hiked this trail on the strong recommendation of several people! The trail is true to description and is moderately difficult. The view on top of the tower is the best one I have experienced. This is one of the more peaceful, picturesque hikes around.
Great hike and excellent views from the firetower of Lake Champlain the high peaks and Montreal. The trail is moderately difficult towards the last half with plenty of switchbacks.
Great hike. Easy walk up, a little harder at the enf. The new trail is much better. Fantastic view from the fire tower